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Castroni Nettle Ground
The nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America, and is the best known and most widespread of the Urtica genus. The plant is known for its medicinal properties, for the preparation of dishes and, long time ago, for its extensive use in the textile field.
Nettles are used in the kitchen since the days of the Greeks and Romans in Europe, and are still a popular food in rural areas. The buds and the leaves still tender are collected during the spring, before flowering. Cooking destroys the stinging hairs.
The nettle contains a significant amount of minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C), protein and amino acids, that make it a highly nutritious food which is suitable for example in vegetarian diets. The nutritional values vary depending on the collecting period and decrease with the preparation and cooking. It is not recommended for diabetics, pregnant women or nursing mothers.
The leaves and buds are used in risottos, soups, omelettes and pancakes; nettle is used to make a pie ( “torta d’erbe”) in the center-north of Italy, whereas in the Scandinavian countries is the main ingredient in a soup.